Harris Guide Leader Matilda Lomas has proved that no young girl need be an island with her shortlisting for a national award for her hard work in bringing GirlGuiding opportunities back to the young people of Harris.
The National Youth Work Awards celebrate youth work and the youth workers who make a difference in the lives of young people every year – and Matilda’s determination to bring Girlguiding back to Harris, where there had been no provision for several years previously, has been recognised as she is one of three finalists in the 2018 awards’ ‘Community Based Youth Work’ category.
Matilda was nominated for the award by Gail Fox, Deputy Scottish Chief Commissioner for Girlguiding Scotland, who said: “Matilda is a compassionate and encouraging leader, and a fantastic role model for the girls and young women she supports in her local community and Scotland.”

It is Matilda’s enthusiasm which has inspired the Harris girls who are now well-known in the wider community for their social action projects – including collecting essential supplies for their local foodbank, entertaining and visiting residents of their local care home, and completing a beach clean along the shoreline of Loch Roag as part of their Ocean Challenge badge.
She also supports the girls to enjoy wider opportunities; in recent years they have travelled to Glasgow for Tartan Gig, GirlGuiding Scotland’s biggest ever pop concert at the SSE Hyrdo, taken part in outdoor adventures including the Highland Fling Regional Camp, and have taken part in Girlguiding Scotland’s international opportunities programme.
Matilda will find out if she has won the Community Based Youth Work award at the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards Dinner, taking place on Thursday, March 15th at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, hosted by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP.